Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Well worth the visit!

Dakota student reporter Sara Tezel encouraged making the trek to Fargo on Saturday to see Wally Lamb and yes, it's incredible to see a professional in action. I had scheduled a brief meeting with Wally thanks to publisher Harper Collins and the NDSU bookstore manager Carol Miller. When I asked Wally about his recreational reading in college I received a torrent of wonderful information that I frantically tried to memorize as I pulled out notebook and pen. I shouldn't have been surprised -- he must have given thousands of interviews because of his Oprah book club fame.

Later I listened to him reading an autobiographical essay and a section from his newest work, The Hour I First Believed. The audience was in turns laughing, uncomfortably quiet, close to tears, and energized. During the Q & A session he told us how at ease he felt with us and how he ran the risk of getting carried away and making a fool of himself. He said his father had been a great storyteller who liked to make people laugh--even if that meant telling a slightly dirty joke. Wally himself was quite animated retelling his "role as victim" to bossy older sisters and girl cousins while growing up.

I will share his message to UND students in the coming weeks as we promote Wally Lamb as "author of the month." An English/Creative writing teacher on the high school and college level, his caring nature is evident in his work. His support of female prison inmates who needed to tell their stories resulted in two books, Couldn’t Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters and I'll Fly Away: Further Testimonies from the Women of York Prison. His newest work grapples with the traumas to the collective American consciousness resulting from the Columbine school shooting, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the War in Iraq. His connection with people -- whether via an audience, one-on-one in the book signing line or through his written word -- comes from genuine concern for his fellow human beings.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Heading South

This Saturday I'll be going to see Wally Lamb at NDSU. I'll get a chance to meet with him before his book reading and signing that afternoon. Janet and I plan to highlight Lamb as "author of the month" so you'll be hearing more about him. He's already generously donated a copy of his newest book, The Hour I First Believed, to the Popular Reading Collection. Please feel free to join me this Saturday -- send an email (before Friday quitting time) to librarypop@gmail.com and I'll give you the details.

Also, GREAT NEWS! The Student Senate has agreed to help fund the Popular Reading Collection for another year. Get your requests in/post to the blog -- this is your collection! Thanks so much to Seinquis and the other members of student government for their support.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Book Reviews via Stephanie C.

David Batchelor

Art Criticism/Theory/Philosophy

Chromophobia (and excellent title by the way) is an intriguing art essay on the ways which colors have been used, misused, and disregarded within art. David Batchelor is an engaging author—at one a storyteller and a critic of the art world today. For instance, as he muses about attending a party where the house is engulfed in white and rampant sterility he states:

“In particular it was a world that would remind you, there and then, in an instant, of everything you were not, everything you had failed to become, everything you might as well never bother to get around to doing because everything was made to seem somehow beyond reach.”

Color is akin to life and Batchelor reflects how its presence is intimidating fleeting and alive. Without it we simply are in doubt, unstable, and removed from the context of our own existence.

S. Clark

Kristen's Note: we don't have this title but we do have Batchelor's newest work, Colour and well as many other books on the subject of the psychological aspects of color.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wally Lamb in ND!

Wally Lamb, author of bestsellers and Oprah Book Club selections will be visiting this area at the end of the month. On November 22nd he'll be in Fargo for a reading and book signing from 1-3 pm at Century Theater, Memorial Union, NDSU. I urge you to take the road trip if you're a fan -- it's exciting to see an author you admire in person. If you want to take an extra long trip, he will be in Saint Paul on Nov 20th (Thurs Night) as part of Minnesota Public Radio's Talking Volumes book club.

Most famous for I Know This Much Is True and She's Come Undone, his new book is already on order for the popular reading collection, The First Hour I Believed. I've read a couple of his books and I encourage the student body to get familiar with his works. I'll even contact his publisher to see if we can feature him as an "author of the month" but I need you to read/review his work to make this successful.

I'll keep you posted!